The New Church of St Mary de Ballaugh

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3/5

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Things to do

Location

Date of travel

August, 2019

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Product country

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

When the Manx parishes were established in the C12th, the parish church was at the centre of a large and disperse settlement. At the start of the C19th population grew rapidly and a village grew up along the A3, the main Ramsey to Peel road. The old church in the tiny settlement of The Cronk was nearly two miles away.

Noit only was the old church quite a walk from the village, it was also too small for the growing population and in a poor state of repair. Bishop Ward presided over a vestry meeting in 1830 that decided to build a new and larger church nearer to the centre of the village. The cost was £1714 with the parish contributing £580 and the rest being raised in England. The church underwent a major restoration in 1893.

The church was built out of local stone and is remarkable for its tower, which is unlike any other on the Island. It has been described as a smaller version of the Boston Stump in Lincolnshire. It is surrounded by a large graveyard.

It is a large church inside with a gallery across the west end of the church, which has flags hanging from it. Walls are plaster and have inscriptions from the Bible round them.

The stylish white font is at the back of the nave. Sconces hang from the ceiling. On the north wall is the organ with splendid painted organ pipes. In front is an angel lectern.

The chancel is small compared with the rest of the church and has a simple altar with a small wood reredos behind. The east window has scenes of the Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The white painted wooden pulpit is dedicated to the memory of Rowley hill, a late C19th Bishop of Sodor and Mann.

The Benefactors board was originally in the old church and lists donations from 1720.

The Royal Coat of Arms, also from the old church, is that of William IV and is only found in churches under crown patronage.

There are some memorials on the walls including unusual diamond shaped enamel memorials above the panelling around the base of the walls.

The church is open daily and is a short walk from the centre of the village on the A10. There is some parking in front of the gate into the churchyard. The nearest post code is IM7 5AT and the grid reference is SC 345 939.

ESW

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